Fans have been flooded with epic announcements as Disney’s D23 expo continues on through the weekend. While castings for the upcoming Disney live-action remake of Aladdin left visitors swirling, whispers of Hugh Jackman’s role in the Lion King spread through the expo despite not having an official announcement.
Omega Underground first broke the news of Jackman’s involvement in the Lion King remake, citing an insider on the project who confirmed he would be voicing the notorious villain Scar. Jackman also posted a photo of himself at Disneyland on Friday, which only added fuel to the fire.
Just as this rumored casting began gaining steam, sources were quick to shut it down. The Wrap dug deep into the rumors, contacting Jackman’s team where a representative of the actor shut down the claim without hesitation. His team member claimed there was “absolutely no truth” to the rumor and fans instantly became deflated.
Director Jon Favreau debuted footage from the new film at the D23 expo, and Jackman’s absence put a nail in the coffin for some. The sneak peek included a quick clip of the film’s opening scene where all sorts of animals are traveling to Pride Rock while “Circle of Life” plays in the background. Favreau was also the genius behind the majorly successful The Jungle Book remake last year.
It’s plausible that Jackman could really be the voice of Scar, and his team is trying to keep it under wraps until there is an official announcement. However, that is highly unlikely. If they are lying and this really is true, Jackman would be joining Donald Glover as Simba, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumba, and newly announced John Oliver as Zazu. Mufasa will be voiced yet again by the one and only James Earl Jones, who could simply not be replaced.
Scar was originally voiced by Jeremy Irons in the 1994 cartoon film, and his iconic portrayal would be hard to mimic. Jackman definitely has the angry pipes to play the villain, as fans have been used to his haggard voice as Wolverine for years. Unfortunately, for now it seems as if this claim doesn’t hold water but fans still have hope for Jackman.
Another rumored voice for The Lion King is none other than Beyonce, for the role of Nala. Variety expressed the singer was Favreau’s top choice for the character, but so far there have been no official announcements. If Jackman and Beyonce both end up in the film, it would be one of the best ensemble casts Disney has ever compiled.
Despite silence on Jackman, there were major castings confirmed at the D23 expo this weekend, and they belong to fellow Disney movie Aladdin. The 1992 flick is also getting it’s own live-action remake and Will Smith has been cast as the Genie. Newcomer Mena Massoud will play Aladdin, and Power Rangers Naomi Scott will round out the cast as Princess Jasmine. The film will be directed by Guy Ritchie and currently has no release date.
The Lion King, with or without Jackman, will debut on July 19, 2019.
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]